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HomeMedia Centre › September 17, 2015 – Mental Health Commission of Canada Releases Comprehensive Report on Support to Emerging Adults

September 17, 2015 – Mental Health Commission of Canada Releases Comprehensive Report on Support to Emerging Adults

Ottawa, ON – The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) today released Taking the Next Step Forward: Building a Responsive Mental Health and Addictions System for Emerging Adults, a comprehensive report developed in partnership with a research team from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) that details the current state of policies and practices for youth transitioning from child and youth to adult mental health and addiction services.

“The ultimate goal is to prevent harm and address the needs of youth living with mental health problems and illnesses,” said Louise Bradley, President & CEO of the MHCC, adding that, “the MHCC commissioned this report to get the best advice and recommendations on how to create a more seamless continuum of services for emerging adults.”

The term “emerging adult” is used to describe youth and young adults (ages 16-25). It highlights the significance of the growth and development during this part of the lifespan and acknowledges that it is a dynamic process, rather than a prescribed span of time driven by chronological age.

To support this unique population, Taking the Next Step Forward recommends:

  • designating emerging adults as a specific population within the broader field of child and youth mental health;
  • adapting transition policies from existing international and provincial/territorial best practices and evidence-based policies; and,
  • developing new, and enhancing existing, policies and practices on the provincial/territorial and regional levels to improve service delivery for emerging adults.

Lead CHEO researchers and authors Dr. Simon Davidson and Dr. Mario Cappelli and Jenny Carver, from Stella’s Place, stated “Our goal is to help all levels of government to create meaningful and comprehensive service and policy changes, which will result in young adults working towards their personal vision of success who are confident, resilient, satisfied and productive Canadian citizens.”

November 2-4 in Ottawa, Ontario, the MHCC is hosting the Consensus Conference on the Mental Health of Emerging Adults: Making Transitions a Priority in Canada. This conference will bring together policy makers, researchers, mental health organizations, clinicians, youth, and their families from across Canada to point the way forward for a more seamless continuum of mental health and addiction services for emerging adults. Participants will help develop a more refined vision for how Taking the Next Step Forward, as well as other existing provincial/territorial strategies aimed at addressing issues around emerging adults and youth more generally, will further advance policy and practices.

Taking the Next Step Forward is just one of a number of ways the MHCC supports child and youth mental health. Download an overview here.

For more information, or to download Taking the Next Step Forward, visit our website or email us at Consensus2015@mentalhealthcommission.ca. To register please click here.


Guided by Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health – at home, work, and school, as well as with the media and healthcare providers – from coast to coast to coast. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the Commission is Canada’s coordinating agent, bringing together the best and most influential minds in the mental health community. The MHCC is collaborating with hundreds of partners towards a mental health system that is inclusive, adaptable, and supports Canadians living with mental health problems and mental illnesses in their recovery journey. Together we accelerate change needed to transform Canada’s mental health system and the wellbeing of all.
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca

Media Contact:
Patti Robson, Director of Marketing and Communications
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: 613.683.3742
Mobile: 613.282.1573


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The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change, an organization designed to recommend improvements to the mental health system on a national level. We are not directly involved in individual cases of advocacy, outreach, service delivery or local supports.